College Sports: Spring 2010 Round Up

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Ah….The college football season is still four months away while basketball recently concluded. All that is left to follow on the collegiate level is baseball and lacrosse with those tournaments held sometime after most schools complete their commencement exercises.

college sportsBut the news is rife with reports about conference expansions with the Big Ten Conference expected to announce sometime in June what their plans will be going forward. Those plans were originally thought to have included inviting one team, but rumors that the conference plans to expand to 16 teams could foreshadow a sweeping shake up for top level college sports.

Let’s take a look at some of the rumors flying around by conference:

Big East – With the Big East the likely target of any move made by the Big Ten, its very existence could come under question if four or five schools bolt. But that hasn’t stopped Louisville’s basketball coach Rick Pitino from suggesting that the Central Florida Rattlers Knights would make a good fit for the Big East. With South Florida already in the conference, two Florida teams offers much to be desired.

PAC 10 – The furthest west major conference has a dilemma: there are very few schools geographically nearby who could be considered as an expansion prospect. But, ESPN claims that the PAC 10 contacted Utah Utes athletic director Chris Hill about possibly moving from the Mountain West Conference. Utah could make for a good fit, but what about BYU?

Big Ten – Well, what is the latest rumor here? I’ve read it all with just about everyone saying that Notre Dame won’t be persuaded to join the conference. Besides poaching the Big East, the Big Ten does have its eyes on geographically close schools currently in the Big 12 and that would be Missouri and Nebraska. I have my doubts that Texas is in the equation unless Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri are in the mix too.

Other Conferences — Any sort of shake up anywhere will result in changes elsewhere with a vast upheaval coming if the Big Ten poaches from both the Big 12 and the Big East.  If Utah doesn’t go to the PAC 10, then it could fill the shoes of Big 12 departees. Expect that BYU and Texas Christian would also comprise a revived Big 12.  And, look for Conference USA to take a hit if the Big East loses a number of its own schools.

When will all of this go down? Starting when the first announcement is made this summer. By the time the first gridiron gig gets going we should know much, the final year of college football in its present configuration.

Oh, yeah, the Big East isn’t about to be blindsided either. They just hired former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to advise them on strategic planning.

Let the games begin!

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Categories: Collegiate Sports